tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC November 1, 2013 10:00am-11:01am PDT
>> reporter: we don't know a lot. the access road century boulevard shut down leading into lax. there were many people in terminal 3 because of the weather situation on the east coast. multiple delays had lax and other airports around the country more packed than usual. when this happened it was a packed terminal. 9:30 pacific time, exchange of gunfire. eyewitness reports we've not confirmed this independently, an individual with a rifle near the checkpoint at virgin america opened fire. there was an exchange of gunfire. two victims shot they have been removed to loem local hospitals. the alleged suspect himself is also hit. he's been removed as well. still a fluid situation in that we don't know the way it has been resolved except the suspect, person identified as the suspect has been shot. we don't know if he's in custody or the condition of the three. this happened at 9:30 in the morning at one of the busiest
airports in the country. right now you can see a situation where access has been restricted or shut down as main access roads in the terminal itself has been sealed off. andrea. >> mike, so far what we know is one suspect, a male, an eyewitness saw a rifle at a checkpoint to virgin america. is that correct? >> that's correct. we don't know if the individual allegedly with the rifle got past the checkpoint. many, many times. where he was near the checkpoint when the shooting started. among those who were injured reportedly is a tsa agent themselves. we don't know what the situation is or any reports. you're right. that's what happened and when it happened as far as we can tell at this point. >> mike, stand by with me, pete williams our justice correspondent here. pete, what do we know from tsa or fbi. >> without saying where the information comes from at this point, talking to a variety of
authorities, a large number of agencies including lapd, which i believe is in charge here, it does seem like it's over is the best information we have at this point. it's very sketchy information back in washington. it does seem like it's over. they are trying to figure out precisely who was shot. it does appear -- initial reports say and we'll be cautious to say these are the initial reports. it's going to take a few minutes to work out exactly what happened. it seems like at least two people were shot. the man with the rifle who shot apparently a tsa employee. that's the person you saw, we believe, being put into the ambulance. then the person with the gun himself was shot. so we know of only two shooting victims, but we don't know whether there were others that may have been wounded. it does appear, though, that this situation is under control
now, that it's over. there's no longer an active shooter situation at the airport. that's the best information we have. >> stand by a moment. we're going to knbc, our station there, because there is an eyewitness. >> was there an incident? were people questioned? what happened with you specifically? >> basically we were in the upstairs area with the shooting. i think i heard a total of maybe eight or ten shots fired in two bursts. it sounded like just one person and there was no bombs or anything else. it sounded like a gun, the same caliber gun. i basically, everyone dropped to the floor crawling on the ground, abandoning their suitcases. there was nowhere to go. you couldn't go back because the guy was on the escalator and you couldn't go forward because it was security. luckily i was by an emergency
exit and i ran out onto the tarmac. >> were you actually detained at some point and questioned? >> yes. >> what happened? >> i was running across the tarmac to get away from what was going on and the first line of police comes rushing in in their cars. they thought i was a suspect and taken to the ground and cuffed and told to lay there while they kept going. >> i can't imagine that experience. nick, were you traveling with anybody or were you sort of in this on your own. >> thank goodness my family was at home. my wife just dropped me off and i was by myself, running by myself. >> where are you now? were you released and have you had your wife pick you up? >> no. she left the airport and she's not getting back any time soon. after they found out i wasn't a suspect. they let me up, took the cuffs
off and ran us into i don't know what terminal it is but locked us down. now we're sitting here with a bunch of other passengers. they caught the guy? they are telling me security just said they caught him. >> somebody telling you with security, with tsa, lapd? >> it looked like an employee, maybe tsa but they said they caught somebody. >> you never got a good description of the shooter, right? >> i didn't actually see the shooter. i was up looking down. he was down in the lower area. i didn't actually see. >> did you see other people being detained who might have been running for cover like you were? >> a couple of guys who ran out on the tarmac got detained
briefly. we were all herded off the tarmac with all the employees, the guys from the plane, all that, and put into another terminal. >> nick, dramatic moments. again, he was on the mezzanine there at terminal 3, virgin america. >> nick pugh was an eyewitness to at least the aftermath of the shooting and detained himself. tory, another eyewitness. tory, tell me what you saw? >> i was in the terminal, in the virgin terminal waiting for my flight. i heard shots. it didn't really register until everybody started running down towards the gate. we were trapped at the back because security doors were locked. i was laying low, kind of staying down. it probably was, you know, a matter of minutes but it felt like forever.
finally security came in and opened up one of the doors and we all were able to evacuate down onto the tarmac. we were mainly hiding underneath the airplane. >> so you were actually at the gate waiting in that waiting area. >> i never saw the shooter. >> understood. >> i never actually saw the shooter but i heard the shots. >> from your understanding, was the shooter beyond security or stopped at the checkpoint? >> you know, i have no idea. >> okay. >> one person saw him, he said. he was wearing a white shirt, had what looked like an assault rifle. >> when you get down to the tarmac what happened? >> so at that point, they had -- everybody was able to get out. they locked up the door and security just kind of stayed at that door. >> and did they, then, escort
all of you off in a group from the tarmac? >> yeah. probably about 15, maybe 10 minutes went by and they brought out a shuttle and they put us -- i don't know where we're at. we're in some other terminal right now just kind of in a holding place. >> tory, where were you planning to fly to? >> i was flying out to philadelphia. our flight was supposed to be at 8:00. it got pushed back to 10:30. that's when it all went down. >> as far as you know, is the airport still in lockdown? >> we are here. there's police all over the tarmac. we're pretty far away from the terminal where the incident happened. >> okay. well, safe travels to you. you don't see planes taking off or landing, do you? >> at this moment, no.
>> as mike taibbi, tory belleci, safe travels to you. i'm sure this is a stressful moment to say the least. glad everyone there is safe. pete williams reporting officials believe that the incident is over. pete, lets go back to you and the latest you're hearing from law enforcement officials. >> apparently the local authorities are in charge here. lapd, l.a. fire department taking the lead on this investigation. so the federal authorities are helping out. obviously tsa is involved because this happened near a screening checkpoint. we believe that one of the shooting victims was a tsa employee, a screener, we believe. everything we've indicated, heard from law enforcement people back here is it's over. it happened very quickly this person with what we're told some kind of rifle or long gun approached the security checkpoint. shots were fired.
gunfire was exchanged. we know at least two people were shot. we don't know how many. initial reports back here say multiple victims, but that could be simply more than one equals two. so we don't know what the number is yet. we're waiting to hear that now. the information is flowing somewhat slowly back here to the folks we're talking to, andrea. >> we know lax is, of course, an enormous airport. knbc, our station, the nbc station in l.a., is reporting that planes are landing. obviously they would not be diverting planes that could potentially be running low on fuel. planes are landing at the airport, but they are dropping off passengers on the other side of the airport. there are so many terminals there. terminal 3 is where this took place, near the checkpoint for the atlantic. pete, in a situation like this, they need to do a big security sweep to make sure there's
nobody else involved before they can make sure this is over. >> that's right. although it appears to be over, you wonder in a situation like that whether the person was alone or whether there was someone else involved or some kind of diversion or what. while it appears to be over, you're right. there will be a lot of checking to make sure this person acted alone. the next steps will be as soon as this person is identified then the investigation will go on to find out who is the person. they will be searching his house, searching his car, questioning his neighbors, all that. we don't know whether they have an id on him or not at this point. >> and pete, when we talk about this kind of incident at lax, we should remind people mike taibbi said because of bad weather there have been flight delays. it was crowded at lax. back-up and flight delays. it was a crowded terminal and crowded airport as well.
a lot of people potentially involved when this incident took place. pete williams i know you're continuing to make calls. we will bring you back to knbc and their live coverage right now from l.a. >> probably not going to make it anyway. a lot of confusion. look at the face of the people in these cars. you can tell, with their hand on head on century boulevard. >> we'll check back in with you soon. recapping where we are right now. first shots reported fired around 9:20 from multiple witnesses and law enforcement officials. reportedly a man what gun goes up to one of the checkpoints. a rifle starts opening fire. reports are so far that at least two people have been shot but still unclear how many. we also saw several people being loaded in ambulances, including what looked to be a tsa agent. also according to witnesses multiple shots fired. nick pugh told us on the upper
mezzanine, eight to ten shots fired in two separate moments. everybody ducked to the ground in fear. people afraid to run because they really didn't have any place to go. if you went down you were going towards the incident. they didn't know if there was anything from outside. >> that was one witness. i believe we have another on the phone with us now. tom, are you joining us? >> yes, i'm here. >> tom, tell us what you saw, where you were when this took place? >> i was in terminal 3, virgin america terminal. you could hear shots. people started running from the center area of the terminal out towards where the gates would lead to the airplanes. there was an initial round of shots, then a pause, then some more shots.
i think it was virgin america person who said to people running in the center area, go out, go out. go down the stairs leading to the tarmac. the whole terminal area i was at, gates 33, all went out the doors and down the steps to the tarmac area. there were literally hundreds of people that went out and stood underneath like that. then the buses from tom bradley terminal came over. after about 10 minutes or so passengers bored those buses and brought us over to tom bradley terminal. so we're all just sitting in the tom bradley terminal at gates 140 and 142 waiting. >> so you heard the gunshots. were you able to get a clear look at the gunman? >> no, i did not. >> what are you thinking as you're hearing these shots? in this day and age following 9/11, all the security we have
to go through to get onto a flight nowadays. we're worried about liquids and powders and all these things. you don't expect somebody to actually get through security with the gun. what was going enthusiastic your mind as the chaos was unfolding? >> you heard gunshots. you know, if somebody wanted to storm through that area, i think it could happen. so i wasn't thinking somebody snuck a gun in, i was thinking somebody had a gun and was shooting it. >> all right, tom. thank you very much. another witness who just joined us who is at the virgin america terminal 3 when this took place around 9:20. thank you very much. >> we've been carrying live coverage of knbc. you heard an eyewitness report to the chaos that ensued. joining me on the phone is another passenger who was in the terminal at the time. tommy, thanks for joining us. tell me what you saw and heard.
>> yes. i was at terminal 33 waiting for a flight to newark that had been delayed and there was a rush, a stampede of people coming through. there was a lot of confusion as to exactly what was going on. like the other gentleman said, there was the opening of the door to the tarmac. everybody started exiting the tarmac. i made sure my wife was outside and i said, let me get my bags. i wasn't sure what happened. i thought maybe a bomb scare. when i went back i saw a man walking around with a shotgun. i thought this is an undercover policeman. he was walking cautiously. didn't seem like any particular hurry. >> when you saw this man, was he behind the checkpoint or in
front of the checkpoint? >> he was walking around the terminals. >> was he firing? he was carrying. >> he was carrying, had his gun pointed downward. walking cautiously, nonchalant, "not any threat. >> what made you think this was the man described, not a security official. >> it sort of immediately triggered this, under stress, walking around. >> tell me what he looked like, blue flannel shirt. looked like a younger person.
>> when you said shotgun, was this a long gun or something you classify as a shotgun. >> i was classify as a long gun. i wouldn't tell you what kind it was but didn't look like anything threatening. >> you didn't see or hear shots fir fired. >> did you see anyone come after him, any kind of security presence? >> no indication they were engaging him in any way. >> then what happened when you grabbed your bags and went back. >> went to the tarmac a lot of
confusion on the tarmac. then buses to the terminal. >> thank you very much. a passenger at lax. joining me jim cavanaugh, retired special agent in charge. excuse me, jim, i'm going to interrupt and go to details from burbank. >> we're. >> reporter: we're hearing on the fire department scanner, we don't know how serious but we've seen a tsa person with a bloody hand and blood on his clothing. could be some injuries are relatively minor. they counted four at this point. that's not confirmed at this point. what is confirmed is traffic, ground traffic into lax by roadway is restricted, cut off, and most access roads. at the airport itself, lax has a
ground stop on the tarmac, prevented from going to gates because of a situation described as still fluid. as we said before, this happened about 9:40. about 30 minutes later there were indications from federal officials that the shooting incident itself was described as over at this point. right now terminals remained pack. complicated by weather situation in the east, which caused all kinds of flight delays. this was a busy terminal. it happened at a crowded checkpoint area. pete williams, our colleague, said it happened in the area where they checked the id. not through the conveyor belt or other side where the scanners are. we're waiting for more information, specific information on how many were injured, what the injuries were. there's an unconfirmed report. one described in serious or critical condition which came over the scanner. we're waiting for confirmation of facts in this case, beyond the fact there was this exchange
of gunfire about an hour ago. andrea. >> thank you. mike taibbi. jim cavanaugh, as we say, retired special agent with 32 years experience. what do law enforcement do when a situation like this develops? >> we talked about -- of course. there's a report, andrea, from knbc there that he might even be shot or wounded or killed. that's the first thing. the second thing we talked about police commanders over the years is try to exploit as quick as we can the information that may be on the shooter. that would be to defeat other acts, other players. one of the first things you want to do is get to him. does he have a cell phone. is he in contact with somebody else. is there another person in another city in another terminal. you've got to get to that pretty quickly. >> once you determined this would be a lone shooter, you can
do the normal procedures. you would obviously be checking for any other possible involvement. you would want to get things back to normal as soon as you could. >> exactly right. safety is the paramont other shooters or conspirators. you're going to see there's searches of property, house, home, apartment if it's in the l.a. area or wherever it may be. they are going to want to glean from that motive, co-conspirators and those kinds of things. we've seen these shootings like the aurora place where the apartment was rigged with bombs. it's delicate now, fast moving. >> we're talking about lax, just to point out as you continue to watch these ariels from knbc, watching passengers rushed down from the terminal down to the tarmac and being bused off to other terminals. this the third busiest airport
in the country. this actually logs 1,578 takeoffs, averages one private plane or aircraft down the runway every 55 seconds. first is atlanta, second chicago o'hare and this the sixth busiest airport in the world. enormous operation for security to make sure it is all battened down. jim, atf one happening. you've got so many law enforcement officials. obviously lapd would be the primary. you've got fbi, tsa, homeland, everybody would be involved at this point. bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms. >> exactly. everybody is involved. law enforcement is a team effort here. los angeles airport police, lapd, you're going to also have the joint terrorism task force. that basically is made up of agencies you've described.
looks like we might have had a hero tsa officer here wounded. he might have tried to confront or stop the gunman. police in l.a., i've been out there and worked with them before, they are very good. it's a large facility with a lot of police. so quickly this guy was taken down where he couldn't hurt a multitude of people. >> the faa is telling nbc news there is a ground stop in effect for lax. the flights are on the ground bound for lax, will be held on the ground. you can see we've got air yeeri. this happened 12:30 eastern time, 9:30 a. time, pacific time. because of the east coast delays, east coast bad weather, there were a lot of people in those terminals. mike taibbi still standing by for us in l.a. mike, at this point, what are you hearing from the lapd? >> well, the lapd is still on the scene, obviously, because
there have been unconfirmed reports bouncing back and forth on the scanners and radios there might have been a second suspect spotted, an unconfirmed report. the airport, as you point out, is a vast facility, one of the reasons there is a ground stop. aircraft kept from the terminal and arriving at the gates. if there was a second suspect, someone involved with the alleged suspect, where might he be, et cetera, et cetera. there's an abundance of caution in that regard. even if the incident itself, exchange of gunfire set to be contained and completed, finished sometime 45 minutes after it began. l.a.'s mayor and chief charlie beck, who are at another event this morning are on the way to lax right now. certainly with their communications apparatus, we'll learn more from them as soon as they learn. can you see personnel remain at this busy airport. passengers themselves are in a
secured position or have moved out from the aircraft as you pointed out before sitting on the tarmac waiting for permission to get to their gates. andrea. >> kristen welker at the white house has information. kristen. >> andrea, i can tell you president obama was briefed on this shooting just a few moments a ago. we expect the white house to put out a statement shortly. typically he's briefed by his white house security monitor lisa monaco. jay carney will begin his briefing shortly. i anticipate he will get questions about the shooting. as you know, the president has been in office during a number of shootings. what typically happens, he gets briefed, updated through the the day as situations like this evolve. the latest from the white house is the president has been briefed. no reaction at this point in time. we anticipate we'll be getting more reaction from the white
house within the hour. andrea. >> thanks so much, kristen. we'll bring all that to you live, jay carney when he does brief. they clearly at the white house will be waiting to hear definitively that the situation is under control and whether this was a sole shooter or not, the um in of people injured. they will not want to go out until they have a pretty good handle on it. the first information clearly will come from the white house. homeland security now coordinating all of this. lisa monaco is the new counter-terror and national security deputy for this. the first woman to hold that post. she'll be reporting to the president directly and also through susan rice, the national security adviser. this is a white house that has been under siege politically. when things like this happen, everything stops. this becomes the top priority. right now knbc still -- kristen, i'm sorry, do you have more information?
>> yeah, we just got this statement from the white house. i will read it to you. quote, the president has been briefed about the shooting at lax. we will continue to stay in touch with federal and local partners. lapd is leading the response and investigation. we urge citizens to listen to authorities and follow directions from the first responders on site. the president will continue to receive briefings throughout the day. andrea, as we just talked about, this is typically the type of response we see from the white house when there has been a shooting such as the one that occurred at lax. i anticipate president obama will continue to be briefed and jay carney again expected to kout out within the half hour for his daily briefing. could that be pushed back kauch these latest developments we'll have to say. we do anticipate getting more from jay carney once he does give his daily briefing. andrea. >> thanks so much kristen welker. knbc continues its coverage. you can see what's happening on the tarmac as more and more law enforcement officials are
gathering. lets listen to knbc. >> didn't get passed through the checkpoint, pulled out a firearm and fired one shot at the tsa officer, wounded. that officer transported to another hospital. we've had other reports that others were shot. >> people abandoning, this is not the area you want to be around at this time. some more information that all departure level roadways are temporarily blocked by law enforcement. so the general public is held back. other than arriving flights, flight operations temporary held. even media, live trucks allowed to park between terminals one and two to bring you the latest information. the triage still set up there. still trying to get more information on the people who have been injured in this
shooting here that took place around 9:30. >> as we come up on 10:30 right now, just continuing our live coverage here of this breaking news event, reports of shots fired at lax. this all starting at 9:20 this morning. terminal 3 virgin america. we're told a package walked up to the security checkpoint, didn't get through. to somebody checking ids passengers opened fire, multiple shots. witnesses told us somewhere between eight to ten shots at two differ times. federal officials at this point are saying they believe the incident is over. multiple reports coming in the incident is over but conflicting information how many people are hurt. >> some of the witnesses we spoke with on the phone reported hearing eight to ten gunshots, dropping to the ground, running to the tarmac. in trying to get away they were detained by police,
double-checked and cuffed and finally released and told to wait there. >> frightening for the passengers. the man in the blue shot taking off his shirt as recorded early, is a tsa agent, somebody we believe was actually injured in this incident. at first he was helping somebody in a wheelchair come out of the airport. suddenly i bent over near the guardrail on his side. people started rushing to his aid. as can you see they stripped some clothes off and put him on a stretcher and put him into an ambulance. we can't say for sure if is the only it tsa officer hurt. we know one was. perhaps there are other people hurt. still getting this information. going back again as we're getting the picture to the right. that's the man in the
wheelchair, the tsa officer you can them skorting him. >> shot in the leg. from pete williams initial report the passenger approached the document checker and pulled a firearm and fired one shot at the tsa wounded and was transported to the hospital. several crews in the area. again, flights have been grounded here. burbank has heightened security as a result of what's happened here. >> taking you through video throughout the course of the morning. on the right was a triage area set up. >> as we continue to watch coverage of knbc jim cavanaugh, obviously this is a big challenge, huge challenge, third largest airport in the country, a lot of ground to cover.
they have got to make sure this is the sole shooter and the incident is over as they believe it to be. >> right, andrea. that's the most important thing. the weak point at an airport is egress, where you come in before you reach the security checkpoint. you do go to the ticket counter as most of us know, travelers and frequent flyers. if you have carry on luggage, you may be able to not have it totally completely scanned until you give it to the ticket agent. pedestrians can go into the airport terminals without tickets and walk right up to the security line where tsa agent would ask for the id. that's apparently where it occurred. that's a weak point at airports. >> jim, pete williams is joining us now. pete, what have you learned? >> we're trying to get a good picture if we can, andrea, of exactly how many people are hurt in this incident and it's still not clear. the best information we have at this point is that it appears a
tsa employee and two others are wounded. we don't know if that includes the gunman. that's the best information we have. all the other reports said multiple shooting victims. we now think the number is thankfully relatively small. the tsa employee loaded into the ambulance who has a wound and two other people wounded, we've been told the gunman is in custody which leads us to believe the gunman was injured but not killed. that's the best information we have. it's still very sketchy. we don't have any information on who the gunman is, whether the gunman is a u.s. citizen. what the gunman was doing there. so it's information still very sketchy at this point. i guess we should step back here and say as far as you know it's clearly over. now it's a matter of getting the
injured out, restoring order at the airport and then the whole separate chain will start on trying to figure out who the gunman was and what the motive was and whether this was planned and all that sort of detail. >> pete, joining us now is jane harmon, president of the wilson center who for years in congress, intelligence committee, importantly from l.a. you know terminal 3, jane. >> you bet. >> tell us the landscape there and if this man was stopped by a tsa officer at the checkpoint where you show your id, it's right at an inspection point. there are a lot of people there. i don't know if you heard this because of the bad weather another east coast flights were delayed. this is a crowded airport. >> it's very old. terminal 1, 2, 3 are horrible, very vulnerable. i was proud of the fact terminal 1 is faced by jane harmon flower
pots. security barriers to keep trucks from driving into the plate glass windows. there's very little distance between the horseshoe drive around that airport and check-in places. somebody making mischief. hopefully he's lone gunman and detained here. this airport was the target of a planned terror attack. a guy named rassan was detained, he had a truckful of explosives trying to blow up lax. it's a gateway to asia and the entryway to the whole u.s. my home, 11 minutes from the lax, which i still live in, always has caused me to focus on the
vulnerability of our airport and ports in california. >> i have at times approached that airport and other airports where there's security in place where they stop and search cars. a big slowdown. that is unusual circumstances. that is not standard operating procedure. >> very interesting. something called create, center of excellence attached to university of southern california fairly nearby, lax, set up algorithm to check cars driving into lax. it moves around. cars are selected according to this algorithm. the checkpoint is at different entrances to lax. i don't know if this car was checked. they don't actually look into a car. a gun can be hidden in a car. i'm guessing protocol will change in light of this and the obvious easy access this fellow had. that airport, despite that has effective practices in place.
i bet we will learn the response to this was extremely effective and quick. i'm quite sure that's true. there are also multiple players of protection when you go in the different air terminals, especially international terminal. i flew in and out of there very recently from china. these things are not disclosed publicly. i can assure you from the minute you get out of your car until you go through a checkpoint, you're checked in various ways. plus the manifest is checked. that's not this case. this was a domestic flight in a very dilapidated air terminal. unfortunately this guy obviously caused serious harm and obviously all of us send condolences to the family of those people, especially tsa workers who put lives on the line underappreciated to keep traveling public safe. >> good point. we all complained, speaking generically, we complain so much about tsa and inconvenience and taking your shoes off and all
the rest. really they are the first line of defense. >> yes, they are. not necessarily the first but they are a line of defense. there are other things that go on in airports. i'm sure we can improve the symptoms. in charge, deputy director of fbi is making a massive effort to do that. i just flew to washington on the shuttle to new york, massive lines. i don't mind. i want to be sure that i'm protected and other people traveling are protected. >> jane harmon, thanks so much. jim cavanaugh, as you hear the former congresswoman talking about lines of defense, talking about that vulnerable area before the checkpoint, she's pointing out has other means, presumably eyes on suspicious people. there's a certain amount of profiling that does take place, does it not? >> that's true. there's some cameras watching. there will be some officers.
until you're actually talking to someone or going through security, that's the first realtime you're confronted. you may have been, and i went to israel a few years ago to work with the national police over there on terrorist and suicide bombing issues. if you go into the airport at tel aviv, i'm sure you've been through there. >> many times. >> you see the layers of security. it's way out front of the terminal. again, at the terminal you'll be talked to. there's a lot of human interaction. they have obviously a very high risk. that's the way the security is layered. we're not quite as tight in america, but when you first come up and confront tsa agent, that's when this conflict arose. tsa, i agree with your assessme assessment, andrea, and congress's assessment. i always felt better with tsa,
flying with them. look here they probably stopped a horrible incident from being 10 times worse. >> and mike taibbi, out there at knbc, they have been reported on this throughout, that they had the one gunman in custody. we believe he is -- chief charlie beck is speaking on knbc. lets go to their live coverage. >> reports have come in they have arrived there at lax and are being briefed as we speak right now. we're getting reports one victim with a gunshot wound to the mouth is being transferred to ucla medical center. right now there are all these preliminary reports. some of this information coming in on scanner traffic. we know at least a couple of people have been shot. really the firm numbers we may not get for sometime. >> 29-year-old, 49-year-old male.
information pouring in. this happened at 9:30. terminal 3 at virgin america. we've heard from several witnesses this morning who reported hearing eight to ten gunshots and believed to be from a rifle. so when this all took place, people scattered, dropped to the floor. some ran toward the tarmac. some detained. >> we're going to get more information right now, more specifics. on the phone we have detective gus villanueva. what can you tell us about what happened? >> sorry i don't have a lot of information yet. things unfolding as we speak. as you stated sometime around 9:30 at terminal 3, a report of shots fired. lax pd officers responded. our understanding right now is that we do have a shooter that's in custody, and we have two,
possibly three victims, gunfire or injuries. we haven't been able to opinion that down. a tactical alert at 9:40 this morning. additional resources from our department, lapd moved over to lax. events unfolding as we speak. >> are you able to tell us if the shooter in custody was injured throughout this ordeal. >> i can't say. i don't know yet. >> is the incident over yet? >> the indications are that is probably is but i'm still waiting to hear further. what it appears like we're doing now officers from lax pd are ensuring there's no additional suspects or any other issues in or around terminal 3. as you can see by video footage, officers from lax pd, lapd, resources from the fire
department all working together on this. >> detective, as the reports have come in this morning, it's been a little bit confusing about where the shooting took place. we know it was in terminal 3 near virgin atlanta. i'm familiar with the area. i believe it's where you have the escalators. you show your id at the bottom of the escalator. you go up and wait in line to go through the checkpoint. where did the shooting occur? >> right now, i just don't know. >> detective, thank you for joining us and for that information, again, confirming a shooter is in custody. right now we're going to get to -- >> pete williams rejoins me now here in washington. pete, i know you've been working the phones. do we know yet how many people were injured? >> no, we don't. you just heard lapd detective
say he believes two, possibly three victims. frankly we've heard a lot of different reports, andrea, about what happened here, the extent of the injuries, how serious they are, whether there are any fatalities. four or five different versions, precisely what happened there. all of which we're trying to confirm right now. we just don't have a good picture. we know for certain a tsa employee was shot at the point where you show your driver's license and boarding pass to get onto the actual screening point. we know that the person who fired these shots is in custody. we believe that person was also wounded. we think one other person was wounded. beyond that, andrea, we just do not have anything confirmed. >> thanks to you, pete. i know you're keeping on those phones. mike taibbi in l.a., have you heard anything more from the officials there?
>> not from officials here. a couple of things of interest. one, a broadcast report in l.a. a short time ago from a witness who claimed to see the suspect himself and described him as a male in his early 20s, short blond hair, sweatpants, casual type of clothing, not much beyond that. this the first eyewitness who claims to have seen the suspect. another point and jim cavanaugh p referred to this before. this is an area, the checkpoint, we've been through these screens many, many times. we know tsa agents themselves are not armed. not the people who check your boarding pass, documentation, not the people who run conveyor belts or scanners, who was it? if there was an exchange of gunfire and alleged suspect was one of the people firing, who was firing on the other side of it. if tsa agents are not armed, and they are not, we've just confirmed that, lapd and perhaps a federal marshall, u.s.
marshall could be at that area at each checkpoint. the notion somebody prevented what could have been a much wider incident or tragedy today, it might not have been a tsa person. whoever fired the shot has not yet been identified. that's one of the things we'll confirm as the afternoon goes on. >> jim cavanaugh, there are conflicting reports. i interviewed an eyewitness earlier, a passenger who described seeing a man with a long gun walking around inside the checkpoint. if all the other reports are accurate, this shooter will stop at the checkpoint. the man he claims to have seen will not be the same as the shooter. maybe there's some confusion there as well. >> right. are you talking to me, andrea, sorry. >> sorry, jim cavanaugh. i was talking about the confusion that one inevitably has in these early moments of an
incident like this. so many people, so many passengers all reacting under a great deal of stress to the shock of what happened in the terminal. this man said he saw when he went back for his wife and his bags went back at the gate and saw a man walking around inside the checkpoint with a long gun dressed casually. it's not likely that was the shooter if that man actually was carrying a gun, because the shooter was stopped at the checkpoint before he got through before all other reports. >> right. of course mike taibbi was reporting, here is going to be the question they are going to put together as they do the interviews and video. when the shooter came in, did he have the gun concealed in a bag, backpack, carry on luggage. at some point he took it out. the witness could see him walking forward with it and that report of that. he could have seen an undercover officer as well. >> jim, i'm going to interrupt
you. we're going to the white house for jay carney. >> the president will discuss the importance of taking measures to grow the economy and jobs and increasing exports. more details on the president's travel will be released -- >> jim cavanaugh, lets resume our conversation. right now jay carney seems to be doing the normal announcements at the white house. we will go back to him if he has any information at all on lax. you were saying these kinds of situations are very hard to figure out in these early moments. >> i've never been to one of these situations. i've been to a number of multiple shooting incidents. there's a lot of chaos, a lot of reports of multiple shoot eers. you can never be sure. >> jay carney is saying.
>> we're at the federal level in touch with officials on the ground and the president will be updated as the can say about what he's been told, what the understanding is from officials on what's happened there? >> i have no more information than what i think you're learning from reports out of l.a. right now to convey. >> on a separate topic, intelligence officials say the leader of the pakistani taliban was killed on friday. can you confirmed he was killed? >> i don't speak of operational matters but -- >> there's an eyewitness on knbc, let's listen in. >> we're looking at the live picture on right screen right now. people being evacuated as we speak. tony ginn nar, what's going on. >> reporter: what you're seeing
are the number of people, most of them passengers and most of them airport employees being evacuated. some were in terminal one, some in terminal two. all have been told to leave. i've talked to several of them and asked what have you been told? we don't really know where we're going. we're walking with the flow. they are going to take us somewhere. i stopped and asked one lax airport officer where are you taking folks? was told what they are going to do have them go to the end of the terminal, past terminal one, keep them well away from the investigation and from all of or questions, but there are people everywhere -- >> pete williams in our newsroom has more information. >> well, andrea, as i told you a moment ago, we were trying to nail down as best we could the nature of the casualties here and we've now been told by several federal officials that one tsa employee was shot and
killed during this encounter. one was shot in the leg and wounded. one other person, the reports say was wounded. we don't know whether that was the gunman or another passenger at the airport. but what we're told now is that one tsa employee was shot and killed in this incident. and so -- that is, of course, bad news and is the worst we've heard of what happened here at the airport. but that's the best information we have now on the nature of the casualties. the person that fired these shots, never got to the x-ray checkpoint we're told, that this all happened at the place where you go through the -- there's sort of three points in most airports to go through screening to get to the airport gate. you first go to someone who just looks to see if you have a boarding pass or not. they don't check your documents.
they just see whether you are in fact a passenger. then you get in the long line that snakes through the barriers that goes up to a person that gets your driver's license or passport or i.d. and checks that against your boarding pass or ticket. that's where we're told this happened. that's where the shots were fired. and now we're told, one tsa employee was killed and one wounded and one other person wounded, we don't know whether that other person was the gunman or not, but the lapd which has the lead on this case, we're told, has said repeatedly that the gunman is quote, in custody, end quote. >> pete, let's just recap here, because the terrible news you've just reported is that a tsa employee was shot and killed and we don't know whether shot by the gunman, shot in cross fire, we don't know actually how that happened, but shot and killed in this incident. another tsa employee shot and wounded and one other person
wounded. mike taibi with me now. mike? >> it is, andrea, we've heard as pete has heard as well, differing reports from exactly how many people have been injured and how seriously they have been injured. as we say there was video that came over before, without any specific facts attached to it of one tsa person with a bloody hand, had he been injured or trying to assist a colleague, in getting out, the one more seriously injured. we don't know the answers to a lot of questions at this point. we're not even certain because the airport remains on lockdown with no flights leaving and the flights that have arrived in a ground lock at this point. they can't even approach the gates. the passengers from those terminals affected both the one where the incident happened and others as well being escorted to a place far from the investigation. there are a of unanswered
questions but the third busiest airport in the country is virtually paralyzed as the investigation continues. we are told lapd chief charlie beck and the mayor are on the scene and expect to have a press conference a half hour from now. whenever they do speak publicly, they'll have answers to fundamental questions, including the one about one of the tsa agents injured in the gunfire reportedly has been killed. back to you. >> when we talk about this, these are the unarmed tsa officials who take your documents and check your driver's license, your passport, check your boarding pass. this is the first line of defense with most airports. there is no human interaction after the point you are dropped off as jim cavanaugh was telling us earlier. there are other intersections about no other law enforcement interaction until that tsa
employee, many men and women who are often criticized because of the long lines and delays and i am patience of many passengers. but these are people who work day in and day out and have since 9/11, mike. >> the first line of defense in a sense and also the first line of risk for those people who might eventually be the targets of any kind of attack. we who fly all the time what the procedure is like. there are a lot of eyes watching, but you're allowed up to the area where it says to all gates, up to that area. you get on the snaking line that pete talked about and put everything on the conveyor belt, and then you go through the x-ray machines or magnetometers at that point. when you come out on the other side, people are putting shoes back on and luggage back together and extending handles and leaving, but there are people watching that area as
well. we don't know at this point as i said before, who it was who exchanged gunfire with this alleged suspect and brought him down because he is allegedly in custody and wounded himself at that point. that's one of the questions we'll have to have answers by 11:30 we'll know more about that, who actually prevented this from being a wider tragedy. >> and jim cavanaugh, when we talk about the fact that a tsa employee was shot and killed according to pete williams, another shot and wounded, we saw we believe that tsa employee getting into the ambulance and at least one other person more wounded, may have been civilians or passengers, there may have been an exchange of gunfire here. we don't know who would have been armed at the checkpoints. who else is armed typically at the checkpoints once you get to the magnetometer? >> usually they'll have airport
police, in this case the lax airport police. it's a separate department than the lapd. it is a huge department. i've worked with them before. they have maybe 1,000 officers and security personnel. they are very large and very good. they might have been in proximity. also you have federal air martial service around the gates and federal law enforcement officers. when i flew on duty, i carried my firearm because you're on duty and required to have your gun. we would be in plain clothes and have our gun. i would bet it would be lax airport officer and since it's such close quarters wouldn't surprise me if we find out the tsa agents and passengers that jump this guy. there's not that much rounds expended, he might have pulled out that gun and fired a little bit and people are jumping on
him. it's very tight in the airport, people are close to you. there's a -- remains to be seen rkts we might have a lot of heroes today. >> indeed. thank you jim cavanaugh and mike. we're experiencing a news conference in about 30 minutes with the mayor and police chief out there. now we go to "news nation," tamron takes over for me. >> we're following this breaking news as parts of los angeles international airport remain locked down, essentially paralyzed after a shooting that left one dead, a tsa employee, another tsa employee injured and potentially others injured as well. mike is in los angeles. this all started around 9:40 local time. we're awaiting as andrea and you both mentioned in 30 minutes an update for the mayor as well as the chief of police. what do we know right now regarding the situation on the
ground? >> i think the task is what we know that's factual and concerned and what is speculated as this hour and then some has gone on since the incident. we have an updated time of 9:20 our local time. 12:30 your time on the east coast. what we know is at that time somebody got to the area of the checkpoint, where they check ids and hadn't got be to the point where they put everything on the conveyor belt and this individual had a gun. there was an exchange of gunfire. we don't know who was exchanging gunfire with the suspect. and in that exchange as pete williams reported, one tsa employee was injured, fatally. he's now reported to have been killed. at least one other tsa agent is injured, there's been video of him